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eldritch

[el-drich]
adjective
  1. eerie; weird; spooky.
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Also el·drich; el·ritch [el-rich] /ˈɛl rɪtʃ/.

Origin of eldritch

1500–10; earlier elrich, equivalent to Old English el- foreign, strange, uncanny (see else) + rīce kingdom (see rich); hence “of a strange country, pertaining to the Otherworld”; compare Old English ellende in a foreign land, exiled (cognate with German Elend penury, distress)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eldrich

Historical Examples of eldrich

  • The little man laughed a little laugh, sharp and eldrich, at the strange cowardice of the stalwart dare-devil.

    What Will He Do With It, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • In one of their walks, which had been protracted more than usual, they were returning homewards by the Eldrich Stone.

  • She did it with a look of hesitation and bashfulness, quite unlike the eldrich boldness and brightness which was usual with her.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • You cannot imagine what a weird effect these eldrich bushes had upon my mind.


British Dictionary definitions for eldrich

eldritch

eldrich

adjective
  1. poetic, Scot unearthly; weird
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Word Origin for eldritch

C16: perhaps from Old English ælf elf + rīce realm; see rich
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eldrich

eldritch

adj.

c.1500, apparently somehow from elf (cf. Scottish variant elphrish), an explanation OED finds "suitable;" Watkins connects its elements with Old English el- "else, otherwise" and rice "realm."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper